The inspiration for this week’s post came from an unusual source. As I have said before, each week I pray for direction in what I should write about, and wait for God to tell me. Last night as I climbed into bed, I hadn’t pinned down any specific topic yet. Truthfully, blogging wasn’t even on my mind at that point, I just wanted to get in bed. Our family lives on a busy and often noisy street, so I can’t sleep without the TV on to drown out the noise from around us. I reached for the remote, turned on Netflix, and chose the show F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Not exactly a Christian show, right?
In this particular episode, two of the characters Monica and Chandler are heading to an adoption agency to meet with a mother who is considering allowing Monica and Chandler to adopt her baby. Before they head off to meet with the birth mother, they stop by their favorite hang-out and are chatting with their friends. Initially as they are talking, they express how they are trying not to get their hopes up but after a few minutes it’s obvious their hopes are WAY up, and they are thrilled that they may be allowed to become parents of this child. That’s what got me thinking.
I’m usually a pretty optimistic person, a dreamer, someone who kind of has her head in their own little world, thinking excitedly about all of the “could be’s” of life. Because I have a dreamers heart, I have heard SO MANY TIMES in life “don’t get your hopes up.” Why is that? Why do people say to not get our hopes up? What is so wrong about being hopeful? There have been plenty of times I have started a conversation or thought with “I’m trying not to get my hopes up…” but truthfully my hopes are up there whether I’m advised against being hopeful, or even trying to not be hopeful myself. Does telling someone not to get their hopes up actually help? Is telling someone not to get their hopes up biblical?
I think when we tell someone not to get their hopes up, or try ourselves to not be hopeful, what we’re really saying or trying to do is avoid being disappointed. We tell people “don’t get your hopes up” but I think what we really mean is “I would hate to see you disappointed if this doesn’t end how you would like it to.” The bible says over and over and over again, be hopeful, but put your hope in the Lord.